Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Aiding Firms and Industries does not Help Aggregate Demand

The economist within me is very perturbed.

With the massive losses on world stock markets, the solution du jur appears to be to do anything.

Anything must be good but sometimes one must suspect that companies have made wrong decisions on their investments just as countries can make unwise decisions on raising tax revenues and allocating expenditures.

Sometimes, one feels, there must be a day of reaping what you sow, the yan of the yin.

To avoid this, postponing your day of reckoning, and to do "anything," is that really right?

Usually the unsuspecting people who pay for this the most, are the "next generation" or even the unborn if its really that bad.

In Canada, PM's Trudeau and Mulroney through the 70's and 80's had no gumption to spend more than they received, building a national debt that at times took about one third of tax revenues to service, let alone pay down as it was a growing debt.

In the US, hard numbers are buried by multiple offices in charge of that nations budget. Who knows what the Pentagon has spent in the past 10 years and has plans to spend in the next 5 years????

The US appears to be the biggest basket case but it is not alone as it has lead some necessary efforts with free loaders abounding to those efforts. Is China also a basket case, for "hoarding" foreign currency, rather than spending its foreign surplus? Its hoard is more than 1 Trillion US dollars, and to me, the principal failure of Robert Mundell in not turning them into consumers too.

But the point here is that you cannot just create bailout packages for industries if the consumer will not buy what is for sale.

In my small world, the consumer has just about everything they need. The wants department may be lacking as there is always a nicer car, nicer TV, nicer home, but in the make do department, the consumer is satiated.

That is one of the troubles here: consumer satiation in the West.

The other is asset deflation, that comes from excess money supply over a long period of "growth" stimulated by monetary policies that pushed on the strings of the real economy.

With the asset deflation and collapse of home building in the US and collapse of energy production in China, yes PM Harper is right to say that we could have a depression on our hands with high unemployment.

But as I have read today, had the "Conservatives" everywhere (Canada, US, and anywhere else) been harder on energy efficiency and climate change, would we be here today as we are?

I recall Dick Cheney's remark on conservation, paraphrasing: "we don't need conservation. we need more energy production" to be heard as more oil and gas.

Its too late for the what if's.  

Prices are falling on cheap consumer goods, and consumers have their wallets closed, and their credit cards piled up.  

The real assets? There still above the ground, with the best, the cumulating human capital and wealth that is still abundantly present.

Happy New Years to everyone who reads my blogging efforts.  Its been a trying time for me in the last 8 months but as always, here's to the New Year!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Unlocking Conscious Energy

It is sometimes difficult to write a blog when at times to the blogger, life becomes overwhelming.

"Over" to me, is above.

"Whelming" is a well, a pit, a dark abyss, without a bottom, as in the case of the depressed.

The work of Dr. Helen Mayberg exposed me to that "pit" that perhaps in deep empathy, and thought of what one of her slides described, my own life essence in wanting to feel something new, went for it.

Ok, enough of empathizing with the depths of depression a person can experience.

Is it a choice in my mind to overcome this or is this my "area 25" dysfunctioning, by thinking about that depth of depression.

In a sense this is a follow on to my attendance at the centenary lecture I blogged on earlier, and in a sense a corollory to the testable hypothesis I put to the good Doctor:

Can you put yourself into a state of depression?

We know with good results that the stimulation of this area 25 of the brain, relieves depression in terms of symptoms, but what we don't know is whether the cause of the depression is endogenous (within the person's psyche) or exogenous (from external stressors).

Time will tell, if exogenous or endogenous factors can be discerned after Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). If the factors are exogenous, and the life event has set up the block at area 25, likely, the DBS with cognitive therapy, will be permanently relieving: i.e. the discovery of why one was so despaired, will be exposed consciously, and so called "up the cortex" therapies, can relieve the bad paradigms or events to understanding, so as to no longer exist.

Worse however is the endogenous variety, as this is what likely DBS will most likely be most effective at relieving.

The trick however, is that after DBS, one then has the opportunity to research the depressed person for endogenous or exogenous causality, and in some cases, permanently cure the person.

The good part in all of this research ongoing, is that perhaps the person with the mental illness will have something visible to show the cruel laity, that through bandaging, or a discernable shoulder bulge, a visible "crutch" may make a hidden illness people fear, become a "normal" illness sufficing to say "Hey, here is this surgery I have had. I feel so much better."

The better part is that the flows of conscious energy within the brain are being mapped, and even external flows between people are being worked on.

Where will this take us in the next 7 years? I have predictions of course but they would be ungodly ones to make at this time SMILE

Friday, October 24, 2008

Solutions to the Global Financial Crisis

No one seems to be talking about solutions to the Global Financial Crisis, other than printing more money, authorizing more spending to the people who caused the problem, and "maybe" slipping into deficits here in Canada.

At present, some people are looking at this, and going "Why are the rich getting bailed out?" as now the financial markets have stabilized but when one see's the allocation of the U.S. bailout, its to major banks, one of whom has recently taken over another with the obvious question: does this money provide money for such takeovers and merger and acquisition deals to go on and on ... ?

Back to Canada, we are likely to slide into deficits and big ones at that, as revenues dry up. This is not the way to get into a deficit when one is facing twin ills of deflation (recession/depression) and inflation in the price levels by money based injections.

In my UofT days, I called this monetary inflation, "non-natural" inflation, as this price level rate of change was merely from the absence of the Bank of Canada controlling the rate of growth of physical money.

Similarly, I called natural inflation, the phenomenon where people have to adjust to changes in relative and absolute prices, domestically.

The sum of the two, was evidenced in the rate of change in prices, with natural inflation very difficult to measure but implicit in the "inflation" rate we see in "numbers" and feel in our diminishing wages.

As such a theorist, internationally, we have had some reduction in natural inflation via "globalization" and strong work on creating an interdependent world amongst those that formerly were perceived as threats strategically to the Western world. The principal effect of this action was to reduce absolutely prices on some consumer goods, via the transfer of high paid labour to low paid labour, and low externality production, to production with high levels of externalities (pollution, plus).

Financial investments by the major banks and major corporations made this possible, encouraged by their respective governments.

Africa? No threat. No action.

Now a huge gob of non-natural inflation, to reflate failed financial markets, threatens to seriously overtake, and destabilize Canadian families into tightening their spending (and others' worldwide), as there is no relief in sight on the real wage front.

The effects of this are obvious.

Stagnant economies.

Extreme pressure on China to stop its mercantilism policy on its exchange rate instead of just considering further actions.

Higher unemployment from excess production capacity in Canada while likely China builds more capacity.

Where does it end?

A Conservative government supporting globalization, if elected in the U.S. will doom us, like Herbert Hoover.

In Canada, we recently elected a minority Conservative government that prefers to govern as if it had a majority. It hopes to avoid to slipping into a deficit by revenue shortfalls, by cutting government spending, with a threat made to the professional unions that wage increases or palatable settlements are off the table.

In a recession/depression, Keynes would encourage government spending and monetary control. Keynes? Lord John Maynard Keynes, was the genius behind reflating the Western world in the dirty 30's (1930 - 1939).

In our world now, we have the exact opposite policies, with a major mercantilist power disrupting free market economies.

I hate saying this, but it will get worse for many people over this financial crisis that underlies a real economic problem that will not got away simply with money flashed everywhere.

Friday, October 17, 2008

China watches over internet cafe customers in web crackdown

China watches over internet cafe customers in web crackdown

from the Times Online

Consider that our own ISP's will be turned into copyright cops with C-61, our new copyright legislation, how different is this from what Communist China does to its citizens?

Not much in my humble opinion.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Sick Patient: the Global Economy

Today, watching some of the coverage of CNBC of the global financial crisis, we had the address of the Fed Reserve Chairman, who said all the money he injected will somehow be reabsorbed but it is not his primary concern i.e. inflation. The message hit the markets like a ton of bricks because the abandonment of the inflation as the primary concern and instead a focus of "reflation" implies a deflation going, on top of the crisis in confidence in the credit markets.

That crisis has been going on since February when the commercial paper market hit a dead end, with new issues not being accepting by banks on credit concerns of the underlying company's and the lack of the ability to float/resell the paper to institutional investors. In February, the Fed in concert with other central banks injected $600 billion dollars in high powered money into the world economy, a stimilus package that in Canada we see in a 3.5% inflation rate so far, with likely more to come i.e. higher rates.

Today the Fed announced an open ended intent to purchase Commercial paper, but in a scary thought, on what terms? Is this a take over of the purpose of a bank in a transaction with a bank's customer? The banks that are solvent, must be scratching their heads on this one, because this must have been a profit centre for their clients. Now they deal with the Fed? Why bother with a bank?

The US nationalized in effect their mortgage industry, wiping out enormous investor wealth.

This is not all going well with markets reacting by reducing the financial assets of investors by another 5% in the US.

Investors only? How about pension plans? And individual RRSP's?

With reactive actions around the globe to increase amounts guaranteed for cash investments in banks, the rush to cash is on.

I look at the above, and realize that this world, is a monetarists managed world. Its not neo-Keynesian, and for those who are not familiar with those terms, John Maynard Keynes was the preeminent thinker to turn around the Great Depression in the 20th century. His tax and spend theories of course were not popular with the elites as they ended up paying a great share of taxes, that governments then spent to reflate, to cause economic growth and jobs to recover.

A neo-Keynesian approach is well overdue for discussion and the Central bankers of the world have to keep their focus back on the price level or we will have serious price inflation, and economic stagnation if not depression like conditions.

The nationalizations and destructions of the financial institutions in the most dynamic economy as President Bush calls his America, is not the solution to the mess. It is causative of more destruction in confidence and in wealth.

I cannot believe there are no more investment bankers left in the United States. Who would have thought that possible a year ago?

The bottom line here is of course the militarism that the US chose to pursue as the answer to a foreign threat that went overboard. While some estimate this as an annual Trillion dollars expenditure, it would seem by cutting taxes, no one is willing to actually pay for that. With an $11 Trillion dollar economy, the US had better refocus on what it can truly pay for and is willing to pay for. A flight to US Treasury securities, might just end with all governments globally backing their own banks cash, as they have started to do.

This is an epic mess.

With respect to Canada, the US has a very bad virus, and when it has to chose between home and abroad, it has always chosen home. We face a very tough time coming. Our Central Bank Governor has also "pushed on a string" by injecting money at a problem that is not solvable my mere money. The lessons of the 70's have been totally lost, and the fix of 80's is going to be painful to relive.

The Central Bank of Australia has cut interest rates by one full percent. The Yahoo article noting this says what I have noted above: "they" are looking for monetary solutions, to pour more money at the problems, and this is very wrong headed in my beliefs.

And Harper is sliding in the polls for his passive approach to the economy. Some pundits who deal with the polls are seeing a Liberal government as Dion has not been resting on his laurels or lack thereof. Resting on what one has done, i.e. contribute to the problem, is not a solution to political success. Cutting taxes in good times especially for those that do not need more money, is not saving the fiscal measures, for when they are needed.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Schiller, Canada's Real Estate Market, and the Worldwide Financial Crisis

Its bemusing to me, to think that anyone thinks that Canada's globalized corporations, including banks, insurance companies and brokerages are shielded from the current financial crisis worldwide.

Its also bemusing to me, that my fellow Canadians are not going to be suffering shortly from this financial crisis, that some call "a crisis in confidence," that some call "a crisis in financial derivatives," that some call "the sub-prime" crisis of the US.

Remarkably, we do not have the "sub-prime" crisis because Canadian's don't get lines' of credit on their homes and spend more than they save (we do).

Remarkably, we do not have the "sub-prime" crisis because we cannot buy a house with 100% financing (we can still until October 28, 2008).

Could our financial institutions play in the derivatives markets (yes)?

And what exactly are the plunges in the TSX telling investors about the sanctity of their financial assets?

Our Bank of Canada Governor, formerly an employee of Goldman Sachs, has overseen the Money Supply, giving us now 3.5% inflation and rising.

How did that happen?

He injected funds like all Central bankers earlier this year, to boost the flagling US economy: in total $600 Billion in "High Powered" money was injected. Inflation a surprise? No. A guarantee.

Robert Schiller, the Arthur C. Okun Professor of Economics at Yale, who studies the housing market extensively, realizes full well that "asset" inflation has absorbed most of the rise in Money supply the Central bankers have over supplied for many years prior with low, low interest rates to "push on a string" the economies of the world, causing many unwise financial decisions, including the period in Canada where you could finance a house purchase 100% through the CMHC or GE Capital.

Well GE Capital has signalled its leaving our market. And the Department of Finance July 9th put an end to CMHC loan's at 100%:

On July 9, the Department of Finance announced adjustments to the rules for government guaranteed mortgages aimed at protecting the strengthening the Canadian housing market. CMHC supports the new parameters and the government’s ongoing efforts to maintain a strong Canadian housing market.

Consistent with the government’s direction, CMHC will no longer be accepting mortgage insurance applications for 40-year amortizations or 100 per cent loan-to-value mortgages on or after October 15, 2008. Those mortgages with a 40-year amortization and the 100 per cent loan-to-value mortgages already insured by CMHC are not affected. CMHC mortgage insurance coverage on these mortgages is good for the entire life of the mortgage.

So Schiller made some comments on the Canadian real estate market and he see's not much difference between the US market (down in excess of 15%) and ours.

For our economy, its coming from the adjustment from asset based inflation we enjoyed, feeling more wealthy, to asset based deflation and price inflation.

For the non-economist, think about money as water (money) being poured into a glass pitcher, and there being two glasses for that water to go into. In Canada, the pitcher has been used to pour into the asset glass. Now its being poured into general prices, and moreover, the asset glass is shrinking, overflowing now with more sellers than buyers in the real estate market at current prices. Where is that overflow of water (money) to go? Prices.

Are the spigots being turned down i.e. interest rates being raised? No.

So what is the expected result? A weakening currency, signifying a troubled country again, with economic problems and a country lacking the leadership to correct these maladies.

How low will the dollar go, as we get more inflation also from a falling currency as most of our consumer goods are imported?

Again, looking at the asset based deflation (securities are included in this category in this post) and price inflation, and the low interest rates still operative at the Bank of Canada, we can expect a below 90 cent dollar, price inflation likely in the 5-8% range shortly, and a deterioration of the employment market.


And since we feel poorer as our homes are not salable at what we think they are worth, we tend to look at the debt we have borrowed against it as an albatross over our necks, increasing financial stress, tightening the spending we have discretion over, and well, surprise we get a full blown recession, if not depression (contraction in the economy v. just a decrement in the rate of growth, still above "0%."

That is called "stagflation" and a phenomenon of 1974 through 1980 until the Monetary Control Act was brought in and Paul Volker had to take severe measures (very high interest rates) against high inflation and a sputtering economy.

Is Canada immune? I don't think so. I think our financial institutions while being conservative in their natures as "Canadian" some must have gone for super normal profits, and have gotten caught with their fly's open.

The question for most home owners is: is this 1990 again? I tend to think it is not, that the asset class in real estate will not shrink as much as the financial asset class. Certainly, Robert Schiller see's otherwise and there are certainly differences between the "Homesteader" laws that allow a person to walk away from their home in some US States, and leave the keys and loss in value with the bank, v. Canada where you are stuck with that debt to the bank (but for Alberta and Saskatchewan I believe). That weak law, that lets someone walk away without penalty, leaving the risk of the depreciation of the value of the home with the financial institution is the US "sub-prime" crisis in a nutshell.

That said, with the feeling of being poorer, some may seek to downsize their homes, and normally we see the weakening of the higher end homes in these types of markets. This is being seen in Canada.

Moreover, affordability in a broad way, will contract demand for homes. Less demand mean builder inventories rise, and construction jobs dry up, and the lack of confidence spreads.

Meantime, the resource based economy out west, is still crying for skilled and non-skilled labour as they have an endless demand for the resources they produce (and locally pollute) from the world at large. Will the "mess" in central Canada, and the required fiscal and monetary policies to cure them, impinge on the growth in the West, or will that very growth mask the regional problems that this country is and will face in very serious ways over the foreseeable future?

For more on Schiller and Real Estate , see here. Schiller homepage at Yale.

Ed. Note: Oddly or not, while I was at the University of Toronto, I worked on the fix to stagflation and inflation as my central focus. Reading Schiller is almost like reading me, while he lacks what tools I developed from the work of his chair's name sake, Arthur C. Okun. In situations such as "stagflation," a Value Added Subsidy is required, the opposite of a Value Added Tax in my opinion. Since our Stephen Harper has stoked the economy with the opposite cut in the VAT, he leaves little ammunition left for stimulating the economy out of the "stag" part of stagflation.

globeandmail.com: Harper's claim of 200 new food inspectors not true: inspection agency union

globeandmail.com: Harper's claim of 200 new food inspectors not true: inspection agency union

Friday, September 26, 2008

To be creative is, in fact, Canadian

To be creative is, in fact, Canadian

Margaret Attwood in the Globe and Mail

Judge Orders Mistrial in P2P Piracy Case - News and Analysis by PC Magazine

Judge Orders Mistrial in P2P Piracy Case

Courtesy PC Magazine

The salient point:

Thomas' actions, the court said, were far different than the sort of copyright infringement the law was set up to prosecute, where works are copied and then sold for profit.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Retro look: US Financial Crisis: Reality is in the Market: Question: what if anything has really changed?

Waking up this morning to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the firm that took over Bear Stearns, its brought to mind the fact that underneath the Conservative policies of President Bush, was a neglect of the "economy."

In my own thinking, when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over by the U.S. Federal Government last week, the U.S. citizenry took over $7 trillion in debt, bringing the debt level to $16 trillion for those citizens, or $45,714 each.

Canada went through financial trouble at the Federal level starting with Trudeau and Mulroney deficit spending built up substantial national debt but nothing near the levels the U.S. has quickly run up (about 70% less).

Arguably, the U.S. is fighting a war in Iraq and in Afganistan, and as a result, you do have impacts domestically but most American's have not been prepared for the cost of those wars, other than in the blood of their youth.

But war fighting takes a toll financially, are the Americans expecting this to be costless?

The US defense budget was $626 Billion, 3.7% of GDP in 2007, but that excludes the amounts for Iraq and Afganistan that are earmarked, one can see a country spending a trillion dollars per annum for war related activity.

And even arguably another half trillion on top of that: see "The Trillion Dollar Defense Budget."

But that is not the only woe for the U.S. "economy."

While it is Conservative to say that Federal spending is out of control, with President Bush' most recent budget proposing a $240 Billion deficit, it belies the flip side to a deficit is also on the revenue side: examining figures for Income tax collections v. Social Security collections, we find $1.25 Trillion v. $927 Billion, a difference of only $323 Billion.

In other words, with President Bush reducing the top marginal rate to 35% for 2003 to 2008 (from 39.6% in 2000), he has reduced the rate of income tax collections while the economy grew, that benefited only those earning over $357,000.

So why help the rich when your country has a debt of $9 trillion? Whoops, $16 trillion?

Its Conservative.

In Canada, so far, tax revenues as a percent of GDP are 33.4% v. 28.2% in the U.S. (provisional 2006). We do not yet have a fiscal deficit but are now on the borderline from the years of Liberal management to the Conservative give aways to the rich of this country.

Big Canadian Conservative give away's?

1) Cutting the GST benefits who the most? The rich. The poorer arguably have to spend their entire earnings and do get a break. But the rich can buy Mercedes and boats, and holidays and legal services. You can see who got the bigger break on GST.

2) New Tax Exempt Savings vehicles. How can the average family in Canada ever contribute $5,000 a year to such an account, so that the income from it will be tax free? The fact that it accumulates, it basically makes investment income tax free. Who can afford investments? The rich.

3) On Climate changing greenhouse gases, the regulation of the intensity of emissions while not controlling the absolute amount of emissions, will do nothing. The climate will change long before any intensity driven model has any effect on reducing absolutely any emissions.

Note: The Dion solution is not also an optimal way of doing the job if the job is to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Taxing and giving back to those who cannot afford those taxes, seems laudable, but optimal, no. There will be a dead weight loss to the new taxes and an administrative cost to redistribute the tax collections.

Can we Canadian expect more Conservative promises to cut taxes over the election period? Perhaps.

Certainly on Copyright issues they showed in Bill C-61, that they were beholden to U.S. private actors who hold copyrights and not the Canadian public nor Canadian artists and copyright holders.

It all portends a great deal of difficulty for world financial markets, and a hunkering down time for all.

(Ed. Note: All in all, a first post in a long time to break my writing cobwebs.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Experiment in Wordie

I tried listing some of my core values that I write about on my blog in "Wordie."

Wordie is a java applet on its home page, that allows you to scramble and colour your words (any) in patterns you choose and randomize.

This is my first crack at it:

My second crack:

New Free Music Site: Live Concerts for Streaming Only

My blogging has been slow with many captures but little follow through.

My funk began with some introspective thinking about Deep Brain Stimulation and the anguish of those who are lifted by it, versus the failure of traditional treatments to help. Depression is an illness not easily lifted once set in.

Speaking of depression, not many have both exogenous and endogenous factors working on them at once SMILE.

For me, I know I turn around stronger for the experience. For others, they don't make it.

For my bloggin interlude, I have facebooked extensively, and will have to take a 12 step program from it, as I am meeting very interesting people and making friends that just are not possible in any other world, virtual or otherwise.

But all is not lost to my readers: today I found a great little site that has classic rock concerts for free, requiring only a login. The catch of the site is the cross-selling opportunities but the hook is free streaming of concerts that are not visual but audio, with the feature that the audio is very well done.

Wolfgang's Vault

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

100 Acorns

100 Acorns

100 days of conceptual instructions by Yoko Ono.

Very cool ideas to take into ones consciousness, and then perhaps take into action!



Yoko Ono's IMAGINE PEACE project is coming to Toronto for the first time this fall as part of Nuit Blanche, the annual all-night festival of contemporary art that runs from sunset Sat 4th Oct to sunrise Sun 5th Oct, involving dozens of international artists.

Thousands of Nuit Blanche visitors will tie their wishes for the world to Ono's Wish Trees near Lamport Stadium.

After the festival, the wishes will be gathered by the artist and stored as part of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Iceland.

A large IMAGINE PEACE billboard will probably be erected to face the Gardiner Expressway and 40,000 IMAGINE PEACE buttons will be given to Nuit Blanche participants.


Friday, June 27, 2008

ICANN votes to expand top-level domain names

ICANN votes to expand top-level domain names

The action means that companies and other organizations eventually could run their own domains. For example, eBay Inc. could run the domain .ebay, and Microsoft Corp. could run the domain .microsoft. Currently, the endings of top-level domain names are limited to a few which include .com, .net and .org, as well as individual country codes such as .ca for Canada or .uk for the United Kingdom.

Prices to register the new domain names, expected to be anywhere from $150,000 to $500,000, would most likely prohibit individuals from applying for new domain names. ICANN said the high fees would allow it to recoup the approximately $20 million it expects to spend on implementation of the new policy

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Curing Depression: Deep Brain Stimulation + "Talk" Therapy

Northworthy had the pleasure of attending the Centenary lecture of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Psychiatry, Wednesday June 18, 2008. Celebrating 100 years and a large faculty, the event was well attended and the presentation by Dr. Helen Mayberg was fascinating: Deep Brain Stimulation.

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) was a culminating effort after a great deal of other work had been done by neuro-scientists. DBS itself is relatively trivial with a surgury to insert a 1 mm lead with a small emitter, using MRI to guide the final location of the emitter, within the brain. The lead is attached to a wire that runs over the skull down through to the shoulder where the pacemaker is placed.

The pacemaker in this case, emits a steady frequency to shut off the overactive or underactive implicated centre of a brain activity, that in the case of unresponsive depression, caused the depression to be imediately lifted.

With techniques and technology like this under pure research and development as a viable procedure, to relieve symptoms, inevitably Northworthy asked a question at the end of the presentation, discerning :

"If the causality of such a depression is an unknown, as was a given in the presentation, and the relief of symptoms the aim of such work, would the successful alleviation of the symptoms, afford the opportunity through psycho-analytic therapy or other cognitive ("talk") therapy, to discern the cause, and once identified, permanently alleviate the symptoms, and the need for the brain pacemaker?"
To this question, Dr. Mayberg, smiled and said she was not going to repeat the question but expounded on the idea for several minutes, of permanently curing the depression, to concluding that what was put forward by Northworthy was a "testable hypothesis."

Northworthy has been interested in the most difficult problems since a child, and certainly mental illness and other diseases of the mind-brain certainly rate high.

In my core thinking, since the separation of the mind and the distinctive segments of brain operation by Dr. Wilder Penfield, at McGill, the observing mind as well as the unconscious mind, detect things and reacts to events, possibly in the case of depression by blocking further painful thought and feelings (affects). In a sense Dr. Mayberg's focus on "area 25", the blockage, relieves the depression by shutting it off. The question then became obvious: with the patient's blockage alleviated, can we now explore why it was put up there in the first place?

Cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder where Depression presents itself to mask the causality, are not normally attactive to medical research due to funding issues from companies that hope to create a 'pill' to solve the symptoms, returning the person efficaciously to 'normal' society. In the case of Dr. Mayberg, she is affiliated with a University, and has received funding from organizations interested in pure research. Hopefully, pure research will also examine the causality of the depression, and not just the symptomolgy, even if the latter relieves the person of their depression with a potential dangerous side-effect: the ability to think of why they became depressed in the first place.

There is of course another way of thinking about this too: the depression itself was not protective but rather it just "was," a trigger of a genetic predisposition, that in earlier days would have been sufficient to cause the person to be a straggler, and a cast away. In current times, sometimes a "lepper" if institutionalized (a "mental case"), sometimes, just someone hidden in the closet, or at home.

Either way, depression is rapidly overtaking any other illness as the largest cost to Canada in the billions in lost productivity and health care costs.

The conclusion of Northworthy is that the future is indeed much brighter for the work of Dr. Mayberg, and other scientists, in cross discipline approaches, where say material science gains in nano-technology, are providing the opportunity to treat at the molecular level illnesses, fighting against the DNA - the genes - we all carry as triggers, predispositions and time-bombs to diseases and to what may be premature death.

In the biggest picture, "cancer" as we knew it, will within the next 10 years be something we all can know about, and by choices, deal with in advance.

The horrible news however is that in terms of genetic counselling, we as a society are more concerned with cosmetic procedures, luring the medical graduates away from what we will need more of as difficult questions of ethics, cost, continued living, arises with future genetic testing, where we are sorely lacking the professional expertise to deal with conclusive test results.

For more reading on this breakthrough, "A Depression Switch? New York Times Magazine" and an interview with Dr. Helen Mayberg, "Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression: An Expert Interview With Helen S. Mayberg, MD."

Here is also a Charlie Rose show where Dr. Mayberg is a guest. It is discusses the state of the art in the sciences (I watched this live).

Another link of interest might be CheckUpFromTheNeckUp.ca

Friday, June 20, 2008

SaveOurNet.ca: Protecting Canada's Open Internet

SaveOurNet.ca: Protecting Canada's Open Internet

An open forum for Toronto's tech/web/media communities hosted by:

Matt Thompson, SavetheInternet.com and SaveOurNet.ca
Steve Anderson, SaveOurNet.ca and The Campaign for Democratic Media
Mark Kuznicki, Remarkk.com, Open Community Evangelist, TorCamp

Date/Time: Tuesday, June 24th, 6:00pm
Location: Fionn MacCool's, 181 University Avenue @ Adelaide, Toronto
Snacks will be provided, cash bar


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Author Sues Booksellers for Selling His Books - 6/17/2008 - Publishers Weekly

Author Sues Booksellers for Selling His Books
From 6/17/2008 - Publishers Weekly

This is what real copyright laws should remain focused on: the professional distributor who infringes the publisher's and the author's rights.


We are not supposed to be the problem in "copyright law" as we have rights otherwise under Constitutional law to protect us and in some cases, damn us, with no protection.

In my opinion, what the Harper government is doing to the Copyright Act of Canada should be done in a commercial law via a statute outside of copyright law, that specifically overrides the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, using the notwithstanding clause.

Till then, freedom of expression rules.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Real police upset over TSA's pretend-police costumes - Boing Boing

Real police upset over TSA's pretend-police costumes

Courtesy: Boing Boing

Will Canada do the same thing?

TheStar.com | Canada | Why is Nfld.'s Williams Ontario's best friend?

Why is Nfld.'s Williams Ontario's best friend?


"He's a Progressive Conservative with no love for the Liberals. But Newfoundland's combative premier says he'll do all he can to help bring down Stephen Harper"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Copyright Reform: Treasonous and Venomous?

Copyright Reform Bill 61 AKA
"The Canadian DMCA: A Betrayal" by Michael Geist

I would go farther than betrayal.

Secret "Conservative" deceit, foreign plutocracy, and totally undemocratic.

I would add foreign "Conservative" as these guys do not represent Canadians, but rather apparently the global foreign "Conservative" movement.

I mean the Schreiber affair if you dig into it, you find out that there is this network of "Conservatives" that seem to want to rule the world their way, whatever way that is.

Further the foreign to Canada "Conservatives" these guys are, have no relation to the Tories, and say the Joe Clark, who fought very admirably tooth and nail against Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as loyal Opposition Leader, and eventually Prime Minister, however briefly.

Was it a strange coincidence that for the first time in Canadian history the unveiling of a former Prime Minister's portrait who was still living and attending that unveiling, in the Central block of Parliament, went unaccompanied by the sitting Prime Minister?

This Copyright Bill-C61 and the recent Immigration Bill are the tip of the Internationalist "Conservative Agenda" they will not share with the people.

As I have asked rhetorically before, how are these guys going to get re-elected?

They have already started a smear campaign against Dion (is this the second round of same with no election in sight?)

While the recent apology to the Aboriginal people of Canada in the "committee as a whole" format, allowing the Aboriginal leaders to accept the goodwill of the Harper speech writer, what about drinking water, decent housing, mineral rights, reparations, and treaty settlements, including giving them the lands described in the treaties that we agreed to honour through the Crown?

Add in the Residential Schools, and it won't be long before that speech writer's words are forgotten and the goodwill of one day, generates another "Betrayed" group by these "con-servatives."

Is it therefore "treasonous" I ask? I think so when a foreign power dominates your political government, casting aside the history of the laws, "Reforming" them, without an electoral mandate, to a foreign political movement.

Stephane Dion, had his chance to get an election on the Immigration Act changes buried in a financial bill but chose to give more time to the foreign to Canada "Reform" group.

While Mr. Dion might have felt weak, wait until the next and the next "attack" ads come, as the "Reform" collects money internationally (????) or from where at our limits on political financing (where did Harper get his money to run for the "Leader" is still an unanswered question and Elections Canada is having a field day on the "Con-servatives" last election financing),

But to a last question: what will bring down this minority government and when? In the GTA they have no chance of winning a seat but the Liberals have damaged themselves with their base for sure, due to their lack of principles.

So again, can the New Democrat, Jack Layton come up the middle between a secretive Reform, Globalist Conservative movement foreign to Canada, that is causing our allies and friends to rethink our country's position internationally, and an unprincipaled Liberal Leader, who keeps appologizing for supporting that foreign movement in Canada?

Is this too harsh for a nice afternoon? Or not harsh and apparent enough?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Copyright law could result in police state: critics

Copyright law could result in police state: critics

Michael Geist - The Canadian DMCA: Check the Fine Print

Michael Geist - The Canadian DMCA: Check the Fine Print

This is Professor Geist first take. He will have more to say but it is not good "fine print."

Personally I saw a "performer" interviewed and she thinks the songs that others write and compose are her works. Wonder how the writers and composers feel about this "performer's" view of their work.

Anyway, recommended reading the Professor post, and staying sharply tuned.

Joining the Fair Copyright for Canada - Facebook group will allow you to stay in touch with what is happening as would be reading Michael's blog: www.michaelgeist.ca .

John McCain to speak in Canada: WTF

John McCain to speak in Canada per Yahoo Canada news
This is very disturbing to Northworthy, a Canadian by birth, adopted very quickly into the home of landed immigrant who refused to give up her US citizenship, paying annually her US taxes, when she could have taken the easy way out: become Canadian.

In such a household, one gets some rather unique views, including what a President should or not do, to be "Presidential."

The candidates were always closely scrutinized, the conventions watched, and the absentee ballot cast.

Mr. McCain has made a very poor decision to come to Canada to campaign, that is what my mother would have said.

Worse, she would have been outraged, in a way one cannot express in a public blog.

She would also question "Canucks" for having acquiesced to such an event, the first time in Canada's history.

The banter would have been intolerable for a patriotic Canadian type, and you know who would have been in what room, stuck there, if this occurred during my youth.

The question of my country being a country would have been asked, and answer fast with "you don't have a country when you allow foreign leaders to make campaign speeches to electoral eunuchs."

So that raises the question: what is McCain up to? Is he trying to win us over for what?

The "Amero," the rumoured common currency zone between Canada, the US and Mexico, and in essence Euro-fy Canada?

To that, one wonders about the French Canadien position that barely few Canadians understand: to me this will be the final straw to break the camels back if we Euro-fy (recall France did not vote in favour of the European Union's Constitution, with the Dutch, and one other nation; the UK called off their vote on the matter as a result).

In another sense, when one looks at Canada, and the US, why would Canadians want to join with a nation that is reviled internationally at the political level for its militaristic stance on "protecting Americans" from threats that have recently been deceptions than real.

Further Canada has a healthy trade balance, our budget is in order, our government is pared to the bone, we have no enemies in the world (though that has changed very recently), we have a great health care system in practice that could be a lot better if the political Conservatives had chosen instead of paying down debt, making payments into our major health care needs due to Canada's demographics: we need much more research money i.e. university, facilities for people, and 'educational' money for getting staff for these facillities. Health was totally absent in the recent budget as part I guess of the continuing downloading of government services but with abundant catches, and unnecessary bureaucrasy for Health Canada to retain some power, that more often than not is not exercised to halt private clinics for example.

And presently, the only educational incentives are available to the well off, not the working family, middle class, who cannot spare much money (as the results show from tax expenditure analysis). A doctor's education is likely near $400,000 today, with the doctor stuck with what a $70,000 student loan: great incentive for smart middle class kids or smart recent immigrants who in the main have to go through some "fallow" working conditions in residency v. supporting their families.

So Canada has its problems but certainly fewer than the US, who appear to be on everyone's bulleye for trouble making, despite the folksy political fronts for its actual militarism, some would classify as imperialistic: why do the oil fields of Iraq become a National Security Issue for the US?

This indicates a hegemony and it is not like the Chinese, Indians, Russians, and the Muslim world are not watching this and knowing it first hand by experience. Russian bombers are back in the air now, on nuclear patrol, while the US Air Force Command has been replaced by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for lax handling and procedures with respect to nuclear weapons, part of the former military "triad" of defense. When an element of your "triad" is confused, well, what kind of danger does that put the world in?

When we add to the nexus Israel threatening to take out the Iranian "Revolutionary Council's" nuclear program, it is not surprising due to geo-politics that the price of oil is what it is.

To me its laughable to blame it on financial speculators (Liberal Dan McTague who reads the closing spot market price and then applies a math function to that price to "magically" predict the price of gas tomorrow, yet blames the financial speculators: how about the forward purchasers Dan, like the oil companies themselves?) when the risk premium is immense, that the area known as the Middle East, an area with approx 30% of proven reserves, is between Tel Aviv and Tehran.

Today we read the inevitable: the Saudi's are worried that "we" will dump oil as a source of energy with the price this high, and they will be stuck with oil in the middle of a dessert they cannot sell. Anyone starting to cry for them?

The latter is not a problem from a Canadian's point of view as if all the oil was extracted that could be extracted from this planet, we indeed would be a snowball shortly, in our lifetimes if you are less than 50 years old.


Yes, that is when the planet's ice cap grows to counter balance the CO2 emissions as the impacts on ocean current's cause further damage to the climate and crops that feed billions of people, and we are left as a planet with a small barely liveable area near the equator, if we are lucky.

So as crazy as this sounds, I hope oil goes to $200 a barrel or $300 a barrel so that we, particularly in North American can get on with the shifts to energy independence that President Jimmy Carter outlined in the late 70's, that the Reagan Administration threw out.

[Factoid: Germany is the leading nation is generating electrical power from wind in the world: 22,000 Megawatts. I ask why Canada could not have done more on those lines than strip land of its soil, waste clean water and tons of energy, to create oil out of tar sand, so the US can drive big cars, that only the rich in the near future will be able to afford]

So yes, US citizen John McCain, come on up to Canada. I think we want to listen very carefully on what your plan is against the Snowball we face if we don't get cracking on a carbon emissions trading system like ... yesterday!

Visitors flocking to see 'unicorn' deer

Visitors flocking to see 'unicorn' deer

Ok the world is a bit awry now.

Now this deer in Tuscany, Italy.

It has one horn which is rare but not unheard of, but this little deer has it smack dab in the middle, like a Unicorn!

Follow the link to see maybe a real live Unicorn.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Microsoft Leads Tech Lobbying Pack

Microsoft Leads Tech Lobbying Pack

From eWeek.com, a CNet publication, that was originally PC Week.

If Canada is 1/9 of the US (as it is in most things), then they have logically been the biggest lobbyist from the Hi Tech industry here too.

With the copyright law up for reform now, there might be a much greater fraction of the US spending, going on now. 1/8th? 1/7th?

Time to search the Canadian Lobbyist registry?

Eight Reasons Your Web Connection Should Be Metered

by John C. Dvorak

BBC - Seven Ages of Rock

BBC - Seven Ages of Rock

Tobbaco War: 2008

On April 8, 2008, the Toronto Star health reporter wrote an article about the genetic's of tobacco use, as well as the triggering gene to lung cancer.

The Associated Press picked up the same "news" but spun it. The Globe & Mail carried the AP wire story.

Now as of June 1, 2008, in Ontario, tobacco products for sale must be concealed. Unless you know your brand is in there, you kind of have a problem.

Of course is you are from another country, you might ask for your home brand, and bam, its in your hand, and you are happy.

Marlboro's are the world's largest brand of cigarettes bar none else (maybe a Chinese or Indian brand beats it).

Philip Morris owns "Marlboro" in the USA and a few other countries (130?). Philip Morris though did not own the brand in Canada.

But with April 8th's news, the cover-up of tobacco in Ontario, and the Canadian production and distribution now of Marlboro's in Canada by Benson & Hedges of Etobicoke, Ontario, what is up next?

I will tell you:

1) the big Tobacco companies in the US will suit those States that sued them, for their money back plus more,

2) the advertising ban on Tobacco products is going to be dropped,

3) the sponsorship money will come back to sport events in Canada,

4) the non-smokers who have anxiety related illnesses include colitis, IBD, depression, etc., will start smoking and have their symptoms resolve "miraculously,"

5) the Big Pharma companies will fight this tooth and nail,

6) the second hand smoking ads will get dropped and replaced by automobile exhaust,

7) the Big Oil companies will fight this tooth and nail, and

8) the world will know once and for all times, the medicinal use of tobacco, long known by native Americans, North, Central, and Southern.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Trademark Law: Marlboro's now produced and distributed by Benson & Hedges of Toronto

Those Canadians familiar with the Marlboro brand in the US and everywhere else in the world, but who could never buy those cigarettes in Canada due to the Trademark "Marlboro" being owned by The Tuckett Tobacco Company Limited of Hamilton, Ontario since 1932.

Tuckett's ownership prevented the sale of Marlboro's by Philip Morris in the US (I would gather the Tuckett's had a licensing demand that was unreasonable to big MO, or a competing product that was sold locally or in select markets. Other theories abound).

Now the brand is owned by Marlboro Canada Limited, 3711 St. Antoine Street, Montreal, PQ.

And ... now they are manufactured and distributed in Canada by Benson & Hedges, but the trouble is you cannot see them in Ontario thanks to a law, that in my opinion is likely unconstitutional (I am not a lawyer but a student of law generally).

The anti-smoking zealots have covered the tobacco "we" can buy for our relaxation and health in some cases, but now yes, Marlboro's are now available, but kind of secretly. In three strengths: Regular, Light, and Silver.

I prefer he Lights when in the US and they are as tasty in Canada now too, but at premium brand prices. The Silver's are girl material in my opinion as they are much harder to draw nicotine and tar into your body.

Now of course I am a smoker.

Why do I smoke as an intelligent guy?

At least 3 reasons.

1) It helped relieve my ulcerative colitus so much so I need no more medication to not bleed and feel aweful all day long.

2) I write. When I write I like to concentrate. To aid my concentration, cigarettes appear to help. I would suggest scientifically it comes from oxygen deprevation and forced increase in metabolism, heart rate up, blood flow up, brain getting more nutrients and higher electrical flow from all nerves throughout the body. The information with the nervous is transmitted at then an even faster rate, with better "comprehension."

3) Ancestral Identification. I believe that native north and south Americans used tobacco as a healing product i.e. a medicine, for religious purposes, for war and trade, and for mystical shamanism. Tobacco to me has always relieved any anxiety, made me relax, eliminated any tremors in my hands or fingers, and made me a better "artist" in however way I term it in relation to my various crafts, professional or otherwise. For the ancestral part, I was born in Canada, and adopted quickly after my birth. I have not hyphen for Statistics Canada to ask about. I am a native Canadian firmly in my mind.

With the recent publication by the Toronto Star of the "Lung Cancer Trigger Discovered" as being genetic, one wonders if perhaps the cigarette companies are preparing for one heck of an assault.

I know personally, that I look at some of the research results that Health Canada by law or regulation requires on cigarette packages, and sometimes ask questions like these:

If smoking causes lung cancer, what happens to people who don't smoke and die of lung cancer? Now with the gene research, we have an answer. It is not second hand smoke. It is genetic.

Also if smoking causes lung cancer, why do some old people who smoked all their life in many countries including Canada, not die of lung cancer? HUH?

Joni Mitchell started at age 9, and still smokes at 39 ...

Closer to home, one member of my family, started at 13 and smoked till they were hospitalized at age 86 to die of some speciously unnecessary testing, 5 days later. They did get a few smokes in as I took them outside and followed their wishes, respectfully.

Next, if smoking causes those ugly teeth, why does not the person's dentist do something? Can't afford a dentist? That is not a health issue but a political economic issue.

Next, erectile dysfunction? Hmmm ... with Viagra causing blindness in 1 of 10,000 men, and well me having no problems down there, or rather up there where it points, what are they referring to: obese men who have also have high blood pressure and overtaxed hearts? Those men who do not exercise or use it (and lose it!).

I would like to see the scientific basis of the Health Canada's claims that it forces on tobacco merchants. Of course that is protected information and the scientists at Health Canada have to quit to remain ethical to their scientific calling or their medical calling.

I would also like to see if the conflicts that other doctors representing specialties such as psychiatry have had similar task forces on the conflict of interest with dr's and the pharma companies: see INTERACTIONS WITH THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY TASK FORCE REPORT

It states in its opening paragraph:

This report resulted from a growing recognition and concern within our own department and more broadly across the profession of medicine of the perceived and real conflict of interest in the complex relationship between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry.

The realities that underpin this relationship – that physicians often need to prescribe
medications to achieve desired therapeutic goals for their patients; that industry often generates research-based medications to improve treatment; that industry views physicians as the rate limiting step in the prescription of their medications; and that industry is, primus inter pares, a business that must profit to survive – establish the potential for both confluence of and conflict of interest. At the same time, as a researchfocused and productive academic department, we have enjoyed high-level collaborations with industry in both basic and clinical science that have been investigator-initiated and governed by stringent research ethics requirements. In addition, at the level of the Faculty of Medicine, recently harmonized research ethics guidelines regulate this research interaction with industry.
I would also like to see the tobacco companies take the legal action to cause Health Canada to refrain, or do advertising on the science of smoking but of course that has been made illegal by statute law.

The critical question: do we have, as smokers any rights here under are Charter of Rights and Freedoms to smoke? Companies do not get Charter Protections. People do.

Anyone want to fight back rather than switch to nothing?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Canadian Beauties: Interview with Canada's first Playmate of the Year in 26 Years

This is an interview of Canada's first Playboy Playmate of the year in 26 years. I think the previous one was Pam Anderson, now TV star, celebrity, ambassador for PETA, in and out of the "Entertainment" news.

Not ordinarily a topic for the Northworthy blog but my Canadian pride, maleness, demanded of me something:

The Field Guide to Guitar Jam Faces : Photos : Rolling Stone

This is awesome to music fans of the classic rock guitar artists. It shows 21 of them in concert playing their "licks."

Ian Angus is missing though ... so its not the set I would pick ... but Neil Young has position numero uno. Tom Petty is playing a "father time" act I think from the way he looks.

Hat tip to Jeff Woods' Legends of Classic Rock Blog.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

From Marsden Global: Rock History from the 60's forward ...

Marsden Global

Very interesting history of Rock (n'Roll) integrated with world events ... Capital "Cool" from David Marsden, in the past to the hippies of Toronto in the 60's and 70's, the best voice and spinner in my opinion at then CHUM-FM (104.5).

Too bad, CHUM-AM Jungle Jay Nelson is gone to the Rock Galaxy in the sky (I think). He would have a whale of website too. RIP.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Senate report: Iran intel kept from US agencies - Yahoo! News

Senate report: Iran intel kept from US agencies

from Yahoo! News

It looks like between the Dept of Defense and the Senate, the "jig" is up for the Bush administration. The book published by the former Press Secretary was plenty. This is now over the top for a sitting President and Vice-President of the USA: do you think the "clean" media is not going to raise bloody hell on any further deceptions?

Stay tuned.

The USA is being turned upside down with the Senate and Congress likely now stuck with one act: impeachment of both President and VP. For those wondering, who is next in line, it might be the Speaker of the House ... or who ? I have the rules somewhere ... but it is not my problem in the US ... I live in Canada. We have our hands full with the secretive PM of ever at the moment.

His "jig" also seems to be up.

The difficulty is the "pretext" for unity is usually a foreign war: will the USA attack someone to try a final gambit? Or will they be stopped by Robert Gates, Defense Secretary?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Personal Means of Survival

At times Northworthy has had to question his survival. There was one big moment and then it quickly passed.

Over time however, when the going ever got tough, I relied on music to get me through my trials and tribulations.

Some of the these songs I you tubed and show below.

If you or a friend have to survive, or are facing rough times, maybe these video's can help you through those humps that we all must face in our growth!

Stevie Nicks ...

John Lennon ...

The Clash ...

and ....

The Clash

Indio (Gord Peterson of the Golden Horseshoe)

The Cult from "Love"




Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Spiralfrog ads EMI to music service: Free MP3 Music

Spiralfrog ads EMI to music service
For those who don't know, Spiralfrog ... www.spiralfrog.com .. is a free "survey" supported/advertising on the site only, source of "free" legal downloads to your non-iPod, non-Zune MP3 players.

There already is a ton of music there and now another ton has been added with the EMI repertoire.

Check it out if you have not bought into the non-interoperable iTune or Zune world!!!! Its great!

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Auto union at Oshawa plant slams GM "betrayal" - Yahoo! Canada News

Auto union at Oshawa plant slams GM "betrayal" - Yahoo! Canada News

At the moment there is a live news conference with Buzz Hargrave. Buzz wonders what happened inside of two weeks. A quid pro quo was apparently part of the zero percent wage increases the union agreed to, in trade for the plant in question being kept open.

This could get ugly as lots of unions are upset for a variety of reasons at the moment (I am in one of them).

Digital Advocacy

Digital Advocacy by Professor Michael Geist:

The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos

The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos - Link

This is a Canadian dude at work with other Canadians ... always entertainment, and now I am drilling his show's site and having a blast with his exploits ...

Must do ... at least once in your Canadian life :-)


PS his last name is a 'must have' in the next Canadian Spelling Bee Championship.

James Nachtwey

James Nachtwey
His professional photo's are as a "Witness" of just how far we are away from "Robert Plant's" Valhalla.

You should look and think about what he has caught on camera.

In every case, what is the reason for the photo?

I say, for what? Nothing important.

(hat tip to Facebooker, Jeff Woods)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Why the U.S. must invade Canada -- now - Salon.com in 2003

Why the U.S. must invade Canada -- now

Salon.com "Satire"?

I dunno ... in some ways I think we go along with the US too much ... but I think this article has the play on words to set up the next "Black House" peacefully in the "White House" (pardon the observation and "old" pun already, President Obama is a "Black" American).

I do know in our over 400 year old Canadian Federation, we have burned down the White House before ... maybe "they" are a little bit sore for us beating them at least once?

PS Retired Major-General Richard Rohmer (Ann Rohmer of City-TV and currently CP24 fame, her dad) wrote a whole series of books in the 70's where interesting defences were employed by Canadians against some unwanted invaders. The series of books, is now available from Dundurn pubishers, in an "Omnibus" edition that I must get again (I read them all when I was in High School but I think I borrowed them from my closest public library). Mr. Rohmer is a prolific Canadian author who has taken on rather interesting topics affecting Canadians in "real" politik ways just "they" don't know it on Main St., Anytown, Anyprovince, Canada.

Here is a bit of speech he made on Remembrance Day, 2007 at Queen's Park, Toronto, the Capital city of Ontario.

But now to turn to what is emerging now in Canada "politically."

The Federal Government got reminded this week about that capital city of Ontario and the power of the two founding provinces, Upper and Lower Canada.

The deal with Quebec and Ontario on emissions trading, announced after a joint-cabinet of both provincial governments, illustrates, that there might indeed be a new "separation" risk to Canada: both Ontario and Quebec.

And you know what, some other provinces might join in.

Its far too easy to see that happening with a rebirthing of the Canada before the Conservative "Confederacy."

Will we bring back the "Old Rules" pre-1867, with PM Pierre Trudeau's Charter of Rights and Freedoms our Federal constitution and also go like Australia, "Republican" rather than "Monarchist" and pitch the Royalty too and the "Commonwealth"?

Re the Royals, they are not protecting the native people as they were supposed to and when was the last time the Queen came over to visit, just because?

What were the "Old Rules?"

I know in the mid 1800's Toronto had Federal Parliament buildings and so did Montreal and the "common Federal government" rotated sessions of the House of Parliament between them.

The architect of the third Parliament buildings in "Upper Canada" was John George Howard in 1846. [note this link does not tell the whole story or even a quarter of what this man did: you have to look at a 1934 Globe and Mail article, plus, plus, plus. For example, his wife, Jemina Howard died of Breast Cancer at the age of 77. She got it at the age of 75 and it was not dementia she was suffering from as the staffer from the City of Toronto states in the hyperlinked article but the opiates to treat the pain as there was no cure for Breast cancer back then. John George built a special room for her and hallway, and he lived on 10 more years alone, apparently sullen at his loss (I examined one of his later portraitures and this is my conclusion in comparisons with prior portraitures). If the City of Toronto needed anything, John George built it or did it right to his death bed at the age of 86. What they have done on their website (Internet Explorer only) for his contribution is pathetic in my opinion as is what they have done to his land that I am aware.

"John George" as I prefer to call him, gifted the beautiful and large High Park, his land, to the City of Toronto, and he lived in Colborne Lodge with his wife, that still exists there by some miracle. He was a brilliant man, a genius, well ahead of his times, coming to Canada in 1827 from England and was hired by the then Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, Major-General Sir John Colborne, Lieutenant Governor, 1828–1836 (hence the name "Colborne Lodge"). The most fascinating man I never met but am working on to figure out all of his story. He laid out streets and built most of the important buildings in downtown Toronto (Toronto was named previously York in 1834) and also the original Queen St. refuge that appears to be an idyllic place, in the earliest paintings of it.

Dr. Sheela Basrur has died: she worked endlessly to save lives in Toronto, when SARS hit us.

"Dr. Sheela Basrur, former Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health dies, family says

Dr. Sheela Basrur, formerly the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health and Assistant Deputy Minister of Public Health, has died, a spokesperson for the family said Monday. She was undergoing treatment for cancer."

From 680 News Alerts.

This is indeed a loss. Dr. Basrur, at one time the City of Toronto's Chief Public Health Officer, was able to bring calm to millions of Torontonians' when the SARS outbreak hit the GTA and made our city, "lepers" to the world [WHO "Do Not Travel" notice to the World].

If not for Dr. Basrur calm and cool efforts and Dr. Donald Low of Mt. Sinai hospital who brought assurance, plus the WHO and CDC in Atlanta, plus, plus, plus the world wide network in the virus research community, and largely and lastly, the valiant nurses who risked getting sick, did get sick, and for some of those nurses a miserable death, without the touch of their loved ones, dying for trying to help their patients, who knows how many selfish people would just carry on and spread this virus all over the place, hospitalizing and killing many more people. The selfish, the many, were stunned into compliance thank goodness by the magnitude of the news media and the grit of the compliant on the non-compliant.

From recollection, we lost 32 people in the GTA to this virus, hundreds in the hospital hanging in, and thousands quarantined at home, including the entire student body of the school opposite York Central Hospital for a period of time.

In my family, we had strict rules on visitors, and going out, and washing hands, etc, etc, etc.

Of course I was living with some kids who thought I was kidding sometimes, but that changed with stern emphasis, and evidence of why they just listen and do, instead of the usual nonsense.

If there is a Heaven, Dr. Sheela Basrur is there now, and many will remember her, for her many good works and the fun and joy she carried with her, everywhere she went.

Thanks Sheela!!!! Remember you for ever!

Ed. Note: We did end up with SARSTOCK as a reward !!!! [driven by Senator Graftstein and Dennis Mills, MP, who went at the idea tirelessly; some would say "virulently" to the Canadian government to help financially with the money for security, staging, general cash flow, yada, yada, yada needed to pull this off]. We had AC/DC from Australia, with the The Rolling Stones (they prep their tours here and must like us), Rush (from North York), The Guess Who (from Manitoba I think), and others. See this link, telling more of the 490,000 people who attended and millions of Canadians who watched on TV [was it broadcast worldwide?? Too bad for you!!!!])

BO DIDDLEY - The Originator

BO DIDDLEY - The Originator
The "Originator" died.

He will always be remembered as the father of the rock guitar riff, that most guitarists use that we have heard of since (my opinion), though you also have to look at Chuck Berry and others such as Richie Valens

Buddy Holly

Sam Cooke "roll" in rock

and the "Big Bopper" for the more "roll" in "rock'n'roll"

But Bo Diddley's death makes me recall another such "originator," with a different kind of lick from Black Sabbath's Anthony Frank Iommi, or as we know him, Tony Iommi (at he is publicly known). With vocalist Ozzie Osborne, Geezer Butler on bass and Bill Ward on drums they blew me away in one day ... Instant Karma to me!

For me, my first album (or third) was "Master of Reality" released July 21, 1971 bought in a rush as I saw them on July 18,1971 in Toronto at the Borough Of York Stadium, seeing at the same "festival" as they were known 3 Dog Night, Humble Pie, Grease Band, and Yes at the 'Beggar's Banquet.' Woo.

Northworthy Trivia: first album was Carole King's "Tapestry."

PS as far as Northworthy goes, the only 3 Dog Night song I liked was "Jeremiah Had a Bullfrog." That band was too "lite" for this crowd but it was a "rest" as I recall it. Went up to the stands to get away from our "pup tent" and blankets, to take a needed rest.

"... Ozzy was either fired, asked to leave, or just quit. There's too many conflicting stories about his departure. However it's spun, it obviously wasn't working anymore, and Ozzy's heart didn't seem in it (having already quit and returned in 77/78). Bill Ward has said over the years that it was he who "informed" Ozzy that he wasn't in the band anymore."
Source: http://www.black-sabbath.com/personnel/timeline.html#1980

Australian PM attacks decision to join war in Iraq - Yahoo! News

Australian PM attacks decision to join war in Iraq

Yahoo! News

This is very interesting as the Australians are no longer in the Commonwealth and are now a Republic. Also the minimum wage there is $23 ... from an Aussie I met last night on the bus ... The Australians are likely extremely upset and angry (going crazy on this news).

Sidenote: my new Aussie friend is willing to play "football" i.e. soccer ... and "Rugger" i.e. rugby ... but "Australian Rules Football" not a chance. He was some kind of nice guy to meet who was also a diving instructor who is off to Tobermory today to visit some old ships. I have a hunch since he is here for 6 weeks, I am going to bump into him again ... now I cannot shake my "Australian Accent" ....

Copyright Deal: Letter to Editor, The Ottawa Citizen

Copyright deal: Letter to the Editor, The Ottawa Citizen

(link here to the letter, Hat Tip, Professor Geist)

A former supporter of the Conservative party says this:

"As a former worker and member of a Riding Board of Directors for the Conservative Party, I feel have to apologize to all Canadians."

He states the secret deal going on at the political level, and then adds this:

"I will now be donating my time, money and effort to whichever political party speaks loudest against this proposed bill."
Me too! Its going to be ABC ... Anyone But Conservative ...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Oh boy ... Is this what Harper is up to?

Coop and Dan Farber at Work on MS & Yahoo

Interesting analysis of MicroHoo ... Microsoft potential takeover of Yahoo ...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Employee Monitoring: It's Not Paranoia—You Really Are Being Watched! - PC Magazine

Employee Monitoring: It's Not Paranoia—You Really Are Being Watched!

Courtesy of News and Analysis by PC Magazine.

My good friend Charles Cooper used to write endlessly about the stiffs and goings on in the High Tech business. Coop's Corner was a must read at PC Week and on CIS, the debates were great. Then Al Gore invented the Internet...

I mention Coop because for a while they took away his pen, and made him a "Big Kahuna," at ZD ($,$$$,$$$), then CNet bought ZD (x00,000,000). He is back now, in a bloggish way, but I don't think he wrote this article, but his influence on digging, his knowledge, stature plus respect of everyone makes these types of articles "normal" for ZD'rs even if Halsey Minor owns a piece of them via CNet.

For government employee's everywhere, this article is well telling. You should know that all of your email is backed up every day, sends and receives, and well, they hire folks to read em, and kind of weep! Ditto for the Fortune 5000 (no typo), and other companies, little and big (small big).

[Ed. note: most of the employees who should be paranoid delusional at this point, are drinking tonight or whatever, and also do that whenever ...].

I have of course known when and who invented keystroke loggers, and then the consequent spread of them via "Black Hat" trojans or worms, then purposefully by the "White Hats."

The legal fight against it was lost in the U.S.

In Canada, I would not be sure if the "Freedom of Expression" clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, if the employer in question is allowing reasonable personal use, would afford the government or any organization to "spy" on their employees, with respect to certain personal email. Of course "business" related e-mail is fair game. But personal, in Canada? The employer might lose in Court in my humble opinion (IMHO) but if its not the employer's "problem" disclosed, yet by procedure is "protected" initially as personal by the employer (a "Chinese Wall"), the shield of the Charter might not survive some "personal" email being read and turned in.

For Northworthy readers, consider yourself informed here, at least a bit.